October 19, 2007

Three Seasons in Two Weeks

A lot has happened since I last wrote: I visited my brother at Yale, had my 23rd birthday, and flew to Utah to begin our October camp outside Park City. It has been jam packed for the past two weeks, and while it has flown by, Yale and my birthday seem worlds away.

October 7, my birthday, was spent hanging out with my parents, boyfriend Zach and my brother Luke in New Haven, CT. It was a perfect summer day…in October. We had breakfast on the beach, and could have ventured into the water had we wanted since the temperature was already near 80F. After leaving my brother to get back to work, we drove to my aunt and uncle’s house in Rhode Island for birthday dinner and pumpkin pie (which was actually squash pie, but just as delicious).

The next day, Zach and I left for Utah to join the rest of the US Biathlon Development Team and the National Team for our October camp. We arrived to perfect western fall weather: cool mornings and warm afternoons with lots of sun all day. There was snow in the mountains surrounding the Heber Valley, which made for inspiring views from our rental house each morning. We have all been adjusting well to altitude training and taking advantage of the great rollerski trails and shooting range at the 2002 Olympic venue, Soldier Hollow.

We moved houses on Sunday, trading majestic mountain views for pastures, deer, and one curious, apple-core-loving horse. Yesterday, some weather rolled in, and we awoke this morning to an inch and a half of wet SNOW. Despite the white stuff, we were still able to pull off a time trial with some juniors who are also here training. I shot amazingly until my forth and final stage, when I missed 3 of my standing targets. Until then, I had only missed one shot. I still ended up forth, hitting 16 of 20 shots. It was a great experience for me, as is every race at this stage in my training. I skied hard and, for the most part, shot well, so I was very happy with my result.

We have another time trail with the national team on Saturday, and finish the camp with one more week of training. So far this has been a very productive camp and great preparation for our early races, which are also at altitude in Canmore, Alberta, Canada, and West Yellowstone, Montana. The recent snow has done nothing but make me look forward to when there’s actually enough for us to ditch the rollerskis and grab the real things. Think Snow!!